Boston buses and cars
Tips and adviceArea guideOn a budgetFamily friendly
Casey Makovich

Getting Around Boston - How to Get Around Boston for Tourists

Shipping up to Boston? We've put together a go-to guide packed with information for getting around the city and beyond, including getting to and from the airport. Downtown Boston is easy to navigate. It’s compact and walkable with an abundance of taxis and an accessible public transportation system.

Boston skyline

Driving downtown can be a challenge with its dated road layout and limited parking options but it’s the most convenient option for travel outside of the center.

Boston Public Transportation

The MBTA is Boston’s public transportation system, and it’s a great way to get around quickly and cheaply. The “T” refers to the subway, which runs throughout Boston, into Cambridge and nearby suburbs, providing access to the main Boston attractions. Just look for the big "T" in a circle to find a stop.

You can also take buses to get all over the city, and the Commuter Rail is an easy way to get to points outside of Boston. You can buy paper “Charlie Tickets” for single or multiple subway rides at vending machines in most stations and also pick up a free reloadable "Charlie Card."

Fun fact: They're called Charlie Tickets because of a 1949 campaign song for Mayoral candidate, Walter A. O'Brien. It was about a subway rider stuck on a train because he couldn't pay an exit fare.

Boston Green Line subway

When your ticket runs low, visit a fare vending machine to add value. A single basic fare for the T is $2.40 with a Charlie Ticket. You can load the Charlie Card with an amount of your choosing. Charlie Cards are available at almost every T stop and are free to get, so it's definitely the smart way to explore Boston.

Once on board, hang on! Being one of the oldest public transportation systems in the country, the T is not always the smoothest ride.

Walking & Biking

You’ll be amazed at how small the city really is — you can walk across the heart of Boston in about an hour! It’s worth taking a stroll along the Charles River Esplanade or across the river to Cambridge, where you're rewarded with amazing views of the city skyline. 

Boston river path

Explore the city by neighborhood and you’ll find that many attractions are near one another and easily walkable.

Consider renting a bike for the day for a fun and memorable way to get around the city and experience Boston's enthusiastic biking culture.

Taxis & Ride Share

Taxis are widely available, easy to flag down, and a great option for getting around the city after the T’s operating hours. Popular ride-sharing services are also available in Boston as an alternative to taxis, with services like Lyft and Uber easy to use and access. Keep in mind that you will need to download the app of your chosen service in advance, so do some research before your trip.


Depending on where and when you’re looking to park in Boston, securing a spot can be difficult. Most street parking downtown is metered with time limits and restrictions are strictly enforced. Parking garages are easy to find but can be pricey. If you park in a garage, check to see if it offers validated parking (for example, guests of a hotel or nearby attraction).

Other Options

You can also take a Hop On/Hop Off Trolley Tour to see Boston's best sights at your own pace - enjoy fully narrated luxury rides around the hottest spots for a full 48 hours.

🚍See the best of Boston with City View 🚍

CV Trolley Tour

Why not make the chore of moving about the city more exciting with a 2-in-1 Duck Tour trip, which combines a guided bus and boat tour of the city? These fabulous aquatic buses will pick you up on dry land in a World War II-style landing craft that will cruise past Trinity Church, Faneuil Hall, and the Holocaust Memorial.

Then, just when you think you've seen it all, your tour bus will transform into a boat, and you'll glide right into the Charles River to get a duck's-eye view of Cambridge and Boston.

Duck boat water taxi

Getting To Boston

By Plane

Boston’s airport, Logan International Airport, is located in East Boston. Travelers can easily grab a cab, reserve a GO Boston Shuttle, or take public transportation. To get a taxi, simply follow signs to ground transportation. Rush hour traffic can add a significant amount of time to your trip so plan accordingly. 

Public transportation to and from Logan is an affordable alternative to a taxi and a great way to avoid traffic. Look up the MBTA stop closest to your destination to determine which bus to take. The Silver Line connects with the Red Line and Commuter Rail at South Station while the Blue Line connects to the Green Line, Orange Line, and Commuter Rail at North Station.

It's free to ride the Silver line when inbound from the airport, but keep in mind that you'll need to pay the fare when returning to the airport.


By Train

Amtrak services 3 train stations which are also T stops: South Station (700 Atlantic Ave), Back Bay Station (145 Dartmouth Street), and North Station (On Causeway Street, under the TD Bank North Garden -- trains departing from this station are northbound only, heading to Maine and points north).

To get downtown from South Station, take the Red Line to Park Street.
From Back Bay Station, take the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing.
From North Station, take either the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing or the Green Line to Park Street.

By Bus

The bus is typically used by travelers coming from other New England cities and towns. The bus terminal is located on Atlantic Ave, next to South Station.
From South Station, take the Red Line inbound to connect with the Orange Line or Green Line.


See the best of Boston 

Planning to visit lots of Boston attractions? With Go City® you won't miss a thing, plus with a pass, you can save up to 50% compared to buying individual entry to everything you want to do - winning!

☀️Compare Boston passes☀️ – 🌏 Explore other destinations 🌏 – ✈️ Discover Boston attractions✈️

Love this article? Why not share it:

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated passes are eligible for a refund within 90 days from your purchase date.

Find out more


Confused? We're here to help!

See our FAQs

We're kind of popular, but don't just take our word for it.

Have a 5% discount, on us!

Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, trip inspiration and attraction updates straight to your inbox.

  • Thick check Icon